The Producers (1968)

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Simply hysterical. You know this from the long-running musical but this is the Real McCoy, Mel Brooks’ tale of failed Broadway producer Max Bialystock (the incomparable Zero Mostel, credited here simply by his first name) and naive bookkeeper Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) who sell 25,000% of a terrible show called Springtime for Hitler:  A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden. It’s written by a Nazi hiding in New York.  They stage it in the belief that it will be a terrible flop and they’ll get rich. They hire a dreadful cross-dressing choreographer whose plays always close on the first day of rehearsal. Of course it’s a monster hit. So who’s funnier? Kenneth Mars as the demented playwright? Dick Shawn as the impossibly camp Hitler? Or Zero? Or Gene? You decide. And the show has to be seen to be believed. Gets better with age.

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